Agartala, Aug 28: The High Court of Tripura imposed fine of Rs 10 lakh on Tripura State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) and rupees one lakh on each brick kilns of the state for non-compliance of the mandatory norms of environment clearance.
Disposing of the suo-motto Public Interest Litigation, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Arindam Lodh asked the parties to pay the cost slapped on them within two weeks to the High Court Registry. As many as 350 brick kilns in the state were operational without obtaining environmental clearances. Last month, in the wake of an order passed by the High Court of Tripura, state government shut down all those brick kilns for flouting environment norms.
The High Court prohibited the brick kilns from operating without environmental clearances. Accordingly, all the brick kilns in the state downed their shutters and some of them applied for clearance. However, the brick kiln owners were asked to submit fresh applications at their respective district environment impact assessment authority, after meeting the requisite environmental criteria.
Tripura State Pollution Control Board was directed to conduct a fresh inspection of the kilns and send the reports to the high court. Earlier, Green Tribunal in a judgment in 2016 asked the states to constitute district level environment impact assessment authority to issue clearance for brick kilns.
Later, in another order dismantle the district committee and vested the authority of clearance to the state committee.
Meantime, TSPCB issued provisional clearance to the brick kilns valid up to March 31 this year. The ambiguity in the process of environment clearance has created controversy and TSPCB could not able to convince the court about their action that resulted fine on them. (UNI)